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Monday, June 23, 2014

Willie Brown to Receive Newspaper "Legacy of Excellence" Award

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

  • Excellent

Willie Brown, the unelected influence peddler lacking only a white Persian kitty to stroke -- we hear he's had the trapdoor to the piranha pit for some time now -- will soon have a new laurel to boast about within his Chronicle man-about-town column: He's the winner of this year's National Newspaper Publisher Association's "Legacy of Excellence" award.

"Willie Brown's name is synonymous with excellence," explains that organization's chairman, in a statement that qualifies as amazing, if not excellent.

Brown's legacy, far from being "synonymous" with excellence is fodder for excellent debates. There'd be less debating if you cut off the years of consideration prior to his pivot from "Ayatollah of the Assembly" to mayor of San Francisco in 1996, when he presided over a city rife with runaway development, cronyism, corruption, and displacement unseen until the term of our present mayor -- the man Brown has glibly noted he propelled into power, right there in his Chronicle column.

Willie Brown collects honorifics at a pace rivaling his amassment of fedoras and Brioni suits. But, considering his heroic effort to finish off the credibility of print media once and for all via his Chron column, it seems hardly excellent this latest bauble will be presented by a journalistic organization.

To wit:

  • Spotting conflicts of interest, strategic name-dropping, and self-serving references within Brown's Chron column is a bingo-like game for that newspaper's dwindling staff and other political observers (here he is flogging a state policy on care-hire services that would -- surprise, surprise, surprise -- benefit a car-hire client of his);

  • Our former mayor admitted, within the pages of San Francisco's newspaper of record, that he and other politicians lie through their teeth about the cost of massive public infrastructure projects to voters in order to push along the cost-sucking jobs to the point where they must be finished, regardless of the price.

And on and on and on. There are also surreal fulminations on deviled eggs and Hizzhonor's borderline obsession with Subway restaurants -- but, at some point, this game grows tiresome. In today's San Francisco, not only do movers and shakers feel no compunction to conduct their backroom business in a backroom, they're elicited by the city's major daily to write up the machinations in the manner they see fit. And win a newspaper excellence award.

Not excellent. Bogus.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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